MLB Free Agency 2013: Russell Martin Looking for Four Years, $9-10M Per Season

Doug RushSenior Analyst INovember 27, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Russell Martin #55 of the New York Yankees looks on after hitting a three run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on September 16, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

Russell Martin is one of the top catchers available on the free-agent market right now.

The New York Yankees are interested in bringing back the 29-year-old Canadian as their starting backstop, but according to Andrew Marchand of ESPN, his asking price is pretty high:

 

I'm told Martin is looking for four years and $9-10M per. Doubt Yanks will do that.

— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) November 27, 2012

 

Martin turned down a three-year, $20 million extension to stay with the Yankees back in the offseason last year, but many felt he should have taken it given how his 2012 campaign went.

Martin hit just .211, but had 21 home runs and 53 RBI in 133 games for the Yankees.

After they transitioned Jorge Posada to the designated-hitter role in 2011, the Yankees brought in Martin on a one-year deal for $4 million and liked how he handled the pitching staff, which led to them giving him another one-year deal for $7.5 million for 2012.

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and WFAN, the Seattle Mariners, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers have all expressed interest in acquiring Martin this winter.

Aside from Martin, Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski are the two other top names on the market. The Yankees have shown some interest in Napoli, but he has not met with them yet (he has, however, already met with the Boston Red Sox).

If the Yankees decide that is too much to offer to Martin, which according to Marchand in his tweet, seems to be the case, they will need a plan B.

I could see the Yankees inquiring on Pierzynski, but that's only if they don't bring back Martin.

I still think Yankees GM Brian Cashman's main intent for the catcher position is to bring back Martin, but at a lower cost, because I can't see them giving Martin a four-year, $36-40 million deal.

I think a two- or three-year deal for $7-8 million per year is a more reasonable contract for Martin.

And in my opinion, I think that's what the Yankees will do—wait on Martin and see where his market is.

If his price comes back down to the offer from a year ago, I think they end up locking Martin up. If not, he's as good as gone.

It'll be very interesting to see where this situation goes from here and if Martin is back in the Bronx or not.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.